The first time I hiked to Cobalt Lake was 24 years ago. I was working at East Glacier Lodge, making salads, and hiked any time I could. My fellow cold prep chef, Karis, who sometimes sang musicals with me to pass the morning hours assembling potato, or macaroni, or fruit salad, went with me to Two Medicine to hike the 5.7 miles up to the lake.
I remember the plants on the trail being so wet with rain that my pants were completely soaked and it was so foggy that we could barely see the lake when we got there. Still, it was beautiful, and we were in the wilderness, and it was one of my favorite memories of the summer.
I’ve since been to Cobalt Lake, or on the trail to Cobalt Lake, at least a dozen times. D. and I usually hike 4 miles up to a scenic lookout we call Anniversary Point and sometimes turn back from there, or other times hike up the remaining 1.7 miles, which are steep, and can be snow packed.
The first 2.5 miles of the trail are a very easy, gradual uphill in the forest next to Two Medicine Lake. You’ll pass by a turnoff to Paradise Point on the lake, beaver ponds, open meadows, and a trail that leads to Aster Falls. Keep going unless you want a side tour. The signage at Aster Falls is somewhat confusing and we literally asked a blind man and his companion for directions once. Chalk that up to most embarrassing ask for directions ever, but he kindly gave them to us.
The beginning stretch of the trail which can be accessed from the visitor’s parking lot at Two Medicine Lake, near the boat ramp, is quite popular, but about 2.5 miles in as the trail reaches the very end of the lake and you have the option to turn and go left towards Cobalt Lake and Rockwell Falls, the crowds thin and you’ll have a lot of the trail to yourself.
It’s 11.7 miles roundtrip and took us 6 hours to complete with about an hour at the top to sit and enjoy the scenery and enjoy a picnic. Make sure you avoid feeding the marmots and the squirrels at the lakes. This marmot took one of my hiking poles off into the brush with him when i wasn’t looking and had a good nibble!